SNAPSHOT: Legal Campaigners Fight Climate Change Through the Courts

 
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Lorie Shaull/Wikimedia Commons

2018 saw an uptick in legal action on climate change, with citizens, cities, and states turning to the courts to push for faster government action to cut greenhouse gas emissions or hold fossil companies accountable for their outsized role in bringing about the climate crisis.

In a landmark decision that had climate hawks around much of the world hoping for a precedent, an appeal court in the Netherlands upheld a lower court order calling for faster emissions cuts by the national government. Courts in Germany ordered three cities to consider banning high-polluting diesel vehicles and temporarily protected a remnant of the 12,000-year-old Hambach Forest from an open-cast coal mine. A report found that more than 80 climate-related lawsuits had landed in U.S. courtrooms in 2017.

The Rise of Climate Attribution Litigation

Legal campaigners built on the emergence of climate impact attribution studies in 2017 as a possible tool for holding fossils, other businesses, and governments accountable for climate impacts by pinpointing the role of major emitters in climate disasters. In mid-May, the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine said time will tell how well attribution science fares in court. But by then, District Court Judge William Alsup had upheld two California cities’ right to attempt to sue carbon polluters in federal court. Alsup ultimately ruled against the cities, dealing “the first major blow to the wave of climate suits that have been filed by communities across the country over the past year,” Climate Liability News reported. But before concluding that it was up to elected legislators, not an unelected judge, to decide whether the world is better off without oil, Alsup held what amounted to a climate science seminar in his courtroom, in what Michael Burger, Executive Director of Columbia University’s Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, called “the closest that we have seen to a trial on climate science in the United States to date.”

In Canada, West Coast Environmental Law (WCEL) and the Georgia Strait Alliance were satisfied with the near-miss when a proposal to send municipal climate accountability letters to 20 colossal fossils earned the support of 47.8% of local officials at the Union of B.C. Municipalities. While “we narrowly lost the vote,” wrote WCEL staff lawyer Andrew Gage, “I felt surprisingly good about it” given the quick pace at which the proposal gained support. WCEL also released a legal tookit for campaigners opposed to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

Legal Action from All Directions

Rhode Island became the first U.S. state to sue fossils for climate impacts; Colorado filed against ExxonMobil and Suncor; and New York City launched a claim against five giant fossil producers for their role in Hurricane Sandy, “a tragedy wrought by the actions of the fossil fuel companies” that left 44 dead and US$19 billion in damage after it stormed ashore in October 2012.

Later in the year, New York State filed suit against ExxonMobil, claiming that America’s biggest oil company had misled investors about its management of climate risk. District Court Judge Valerie Caproni had previously accused Exxon of “running roughshod over the adage that the best defence is a good offence” with its claim that New York and Massachusetts were violating its free speech rights by probing whether it had misled investors. A bipartisan group in the United States proposed a carbon tax deal that would have protected fossils from future climate liability.

Dutch journalist Jelmer Mommers discovered that Royal Dutch Shell understood the urgency of climate change as far back as 1988. In mid-November, U.S. crab fishers sued 30 fossils, including Calgary-based Encana Corporation, in a bid to hold them accountable for “significant economic losses” due to ocean warming off California and Oregon.

Fourteen U.S. states sued the Environmental Protection Agency to enforce its methane control regulations, 19 states threatened legal action after the Trump administration moved to roll back tailpipe emission standards, and Colorado’s oil and gas regulator faced an environmental lawsuit from a poor, mostly Hispanic neighbourhood in the city of Greeley.

A Quebec village defeated a lawsuit that would have prevented it from protecting its water supply from fossil exploration. South Portland, Maine, won a landmark case upholding a local anti-pipeline ordinance, and anti-pipeline campaigners found out to their dismay that when they win in court, U.S. regulators just change the rules. Montreal-based ENvironnement JEUnesse (ENJEU) opened a class action suit on behalf of Quebec youth aged 35 and under, taking Ottawa to task for its inadequate plan to combat climate change.

More Delays for Landmark Youth Lawsuit

The Trump administration continued its feverish effort to keep the 21 youth plaintiffs behind Juliana v. United States out of court. After the White House lost a bid to quash the case in March, the trial was scheduled for October 29. The plaintiffs bought their train tickets to Eugene, Oregon, only to be held up again by additional court challenges.

Youth in Colombia took their government to court for failing to protect their future, and eight youth plaintiffs filed suit in mid-April against Florida’s climate-denying governor, Rick Scott.

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Canada’s urban planning experts, along with leaders in the public, private, and non-profit sectors, have signed on to the 2020 Declaration for Resilience in Canadian Cities, urging policy-makers at all levels to create a “new normal” that makes affordability, sustainability, climate-friendliness, and equity the four cornerstones of any pandemic recovery plans.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extraction_of_petroleum

Abandoned Wells Emerge as Massive, Largely Unmeasured Methane Risk

The United States is emerging as a focal point of one of the larger problems arising from oil and gas production: the leaky wells left behind when fossils abandon them rather than cleaning up the health and environmental mess they’ve created.

New Jersey Unveils Plan to Become ‘Wind Turbine Capital’

Determined to be for wind energy what Texas is to fossil fuels, New Jersey has announced plans to become the go-to state for the production of offshore wind turbines, beginning with the construction of a giant port along the Delaware River.

Texas Regulator May Lower the Boom on Natural Gas Flaring

U.S. Court Upholds Oil Lease Cancellation Outside Glacier National Park

Permit Refusal Shuts Down Welsh Coal Mine

Alberta’s Green Economy Could Produce 67,200 New Jobs by 2030

The Pembina Institute has tapped into the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit of Albertans to produce a job creation plan that could begin decarbonizing the provincial economy and generate 67,200 jobs—or 67% of the current fossil work force—by 2030.

‘Industry Consortium’ to Intervene in Ecojustice Case Against ‘Foreign Funded Radicals’ Panel

A self-styled “industry consortium” that includes pro-fossil provocateur Brett Wilson will be allowed to intervene in a court case launched by Ecojustice, aimed at quashing the Jason Kenney government’s C$2.5-million inquiry into supposed interference in the Alberta oilpatch by “foreign-funded radicals”.

Regulatory Woes Drive Up Cost of Mountain Valley Pipeline

85 Spills in 67 Years: Groups Call for Indigenous-Led Probe into Aging Trans Mountain Pipeline

After a history of 85 spills along the 67-year-old Trans Mountain pipeline, the federal and British Columbia governments must launch an “independent, Indigenous-led expert investigation” into the line’s safety and integrity, a group of Indigenous leaders and environmental groups say in a release issued yesterday by Stand.Earth.

Time to ‘Drop the Hammer’ on Canadian Rail Companies as Oil Trains Keep Derailing

Broken track has led to seven major derailments of crude oil trains in Canada since the tragic Lac-Mégantic disaster of 2013. Now, revelations that Canadian Pacific’s Saskatchewan line is in bad shape have experts urging Transport Canada to become a more aggressive regulator of the country’s rail system.

Climate Impacts of Hurricane Harvey Pegged at $67 Billion

In a finding that could radically alter future calculations of the social cost of carbon, researchers say new methods of event attribution have now pegged the share of damages from Hurricane Harvey that were caused by global warming at 74.4% of the US$90-billion-plus total—much higher than previous estimates of 22%.

U.S. Supreme Court Ruling Opens Door for Atlantic Coast Gas Pipeline

The companies building the US$8-billion Atlantic Coast gas pipeline from West Virginia to North Carolina and Virginia will be allowed to tunnel beneath the storied Appalachian Trail, following a 7-2 ruling Monday by the U.S. Supreme Court.

PG&E Pleads Guilty to 84 Deaths in 2018 Camp Fire

Mammoth California utility PG&E pleaded guilty yesterday to 84 charges of involuntary manslaughter, and was expected to acknowledge each victim by name, after sparks from its equipment set off the 2018 Camp Fire, the biggest wildfire in state history.

Unilever Vows to ‘Zero Out’ Emissions by 2039, Put Climate Labels on 70,000 Products

Consumer goods giant Unilever NV has vowed to “zero out” its operating emissions—and those of its suppliers—by 2039, and to keep itself accountable by labelling emissions information on each of its 70,000 products. 

U.S. EPA Faces Third Lawsuit for Environmental Monitoring Rollback

Alberta Shuts Energy Efficiency Agency, Eliminates Cabinet Approval for New Tar Sands/Oil Sands Projects

Alberta is moving to phase out its energy efficiency agency and allow future tar sands/oil sands projects to proceed without cabinet approval under a 14-point omnibus bill introduced last Thursday, prompting the energy efficiency community to scorch the Jason Kenney government for shutting down a job-creating program in the midst of a deep recession.

Canada’s Green Recovery Could Produce 6.7 Million Job-Years, Cut 237 Megatonnes of Emissions by 2030

Canada could create 6.7 million person-years of quality employment by 2030, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 237 million tonnes from 2018 levels, make homes and workplaces more comfortable and flood-resistant, and save citizens C$39 billion per year in fuel, heat, and electricity by embracing a green recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, analysts Ralph Torrie and Céline Bak and publisher Toby Heaps argue, drawing on a series of seven Building Back Better webinars hosted by Corporate Knights.

Yeampierre: No Climate Justice Without Racial Justice

The exploitative calculus that drives climate change is a mirror to the rapaciousness of slavery—and climate activists who still can’t see the connection between climate justice and racial justice need to wake up, says long-time climate justice activist Elizabeth Yeampierre.

Brazil Becomes Key Battleground in Accelerating Global Deforestation

The destruction of the Amazon rainforest accelerated by 55% in the first four months of 2020 compared to the previous year. Brazil’s answer? Slash the budgets for ecosystem and climate protection—and double down on the notion that the military is the best defender of the forest.

Rogue Russian Mining Company Blames Permafrost Thaw for Biggest-Ever Arctic Oil Spill

Vladimir Putin’s rage over the world’s biggest-ever Arctic oil spill may end up triggering long-overdue environmental reforms, with speculation mounting that a stalled 2018 environmental protection bill might actually pass in the wake of the disaster.

Week 24, June 15: Ecological Restoration

We face an ecological as well as a climate emergency. Because of our human influence, Earth is in the midst a mass extinction crisis: up to a million species are threatened with extinction, many within decades.

U.S. Appeal Court Upholds Line 5 Oil Spill Plan

Indigenous Campaigners Face Higher Risk of Criminalization, Violence

Environmental activism is an increasingly dangerous vocation, with a high risk of criminalization, incarceration, and extreme—sometimes fatal—violence, especially for Indigenous activists. Now, a recent comprehensive study from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona is revealing the depth of both the danger, and the imbalance in who faces it.

Future Looks Lean for Single-Use Plastics Despite COVID-19 Boost

Though single-use plastics have rebounded sharply since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the poor optics of producing a product that is neither biodegradable nor recyclable may foretell lean times for the materials down the road.

Pembina Study Looks to Rein In Skyrocketing e-Commerce Emissions

As e-commerce grows—and accelerates precipitously under COVID-19—freight emissions are likewise surging. A recent report by the Pembina Institute sets out to address the issue by identifying the habits and expectations driving it, and the actions consumers and businesses can take to make online shopping less harmful, if not less appealing.

B.C., Coastal GasLink Drop Charges Against 22 Wet’suwet’en Protesters

Colorado, Virginia Move to Shut Down Super-Polluting HFCs

Exxon Climate Case Clearly Belonged in Mass. State Court, Federal Judge Asserts

Italian Regulator Approves 605-MW Coal Shutdown

In Conversation: On Climate Mobilization, Canadian Public is ‘Ahead of Our Politics’, Klein Says

Seth Klein is a research associate with the British Columbia office of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. His book on the Second World War and the lessons it holds for today’s battle to get climate change under control is due to be published in September by Toronto-based ECW Press.

Policy U-Turns by Governments Undercut Investor Interest in Renewables

While the last year has seen a surge of interest in renewable energy among potential investors, many of them are being deterred by concerns about policy U-turns from governments.

Extreme Weather Poses Small but Real Risk to UK Nuclear Reactors

Even as it reassures the British public that the country’s nuclear power plants are built to withstand a one-in-10,000-year event, the United Kingdom’s nuclear regulator is being warned that extreme weather events remain a dangerous threat to the industry.

Journalist Catalogues Every Environmental Protection Canada Has Cut Back Due to COVID

VW Could Face Flood of New Dieselgate Charges

Trump Order to Speed Pipelines, Gut Environmental Protections is ‘Sitting Duck’ for Legal Challenges

Donald Trump signed an order last week to waive environmental safeguards on oil and gas pipeline projects that disproportionately harm minority communities already convulsed by the COVID-19 pandemic and racial injustice. But his administration may just be cruising for the latest in a string of court defeats in its effort to obliterate laws protecting air quality, drinking water, species, and habitats.

Author, Filmmaker, Environmental Visionary: Canadian Climate Hawks Mourn Silver Donald Cameron

Canada’s climate and environment community lost one of its most persistent, knowledgeable, and creative voices and The Energy Mix lost one of its heroes and partners June 1 when Silver Donald Cameron died in hospital of lung cancer at age 82.

Alberta Under Pressure to Restart Environmental Monitoring for Oil and Gas Operations

A group of seven environmental groups and Indigenous communities in Alberta is pressing the Jason Kenney government to restart environmental monitoring for oil and gas operations and release its criteria for when that work will begin again.

COVID-Wary New Yorkers Weigh Risks of Traffic Versus Transit

As New Yorkers give a wary eye to public transportation, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is scrambling to inform citizens that the very last thing they should do is hop in their cars.

New U.S. EPA Rule Curbs Pipeline Protests

New Regulation in Mexico Favours Public Utility Over Renewables

Charges Laid in Extinction Rebellion Protest Outside Horgan’s Home

Electrifying GTHA Cars, Trucks, and Buses Would Prevent 731 Premature Deaths, Cut 8 Mt of Emissions Per Year

A shift to electric cars, SUVs, trucks, and buses would prevent 731 premature deaths per year in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) and reduce the region’s annual greenhouse gas emissions by eight million tonnes, bringing Ontario half-way to meeting its 2030 carbon target, according to a modelling study released this week by Environmental Defence Canada and the Ontario Public Health Association.

Amazon Touts Cloud Services Deal with TC Energy as Keystone Becomes ‘Walking Zombie’

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is drawing the wrath of one of North America’s leading climate campaigners, after proudly announcing in mid-May that TC Energy, the Calgary-based company behind the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, is “going all-in” as a customer for its cloud-based computing service.

Weaver Wins ‘Ultimate Vindication’ in Appeal Court Ruling Against Climate Denier Tim Ball

UNFCCC climate scientist and departing British Columbia Green Party leader Andrew Weaver scored a long-awaited legal victory last week against climate denier Tim Ball, after the provincial court of appeal ordered Ball to stand trial in a nine-year-old libel case.

Pennsylvania Pollution Regulators Scramble During Pandemic

Tennessee Invests $5.7M Payout from VW Scandal in Transit Projects

Massachusetts Solar Firms Complain About New Land Use Rules

Here’s What Canada’s Climate Strategy Would Look Like if it were Modelled on the COVID-19 Response

Canada’s approach to climate change would look a lot different if it were modelled on the all-in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, five of the country’s leading climate advocates argue this week in an opinion piece published simultaneously in The Hill Times and La Presse.

Keystone Faces Delays After Appeal Court Upholds Withdrawal of Environmental Permit

The Keystone XL pipeline and other U.S. pipeline projects are facing further delays, after a federal appeal court in California declined last week to reverse a lower court decision to cancel a national environmental permit that had enabled construction to proceed.

Now-Bankrupt Coal Company Spent $1M to Fight Ohio Renewables Law

EU Confirms Green Strings Attached to €750-Billion Recovery Package, €1-Trillion/Seven-Year Budget

News reports are confirming that the European Union’s seven-year, €1-trillion budget proposal and its €750-billion coronavirus recovery package will both have green strings attached, with 25% of the funds devoted to climate action and a “do no harm” clause to prevent environmentally damaging investments.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Headquarters_of_the_United_Nations

Berman, Campanale Call for Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty

With fossil jobs drying up, the industry bent under a “staggering mound of debt” despite trillions in subsidies, fossil fuels responsible for 75% of the world’s past greenhouse gas emissions, and companies plotting a massive expansion prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, governments must adopt a fossil fuel non-proliferation treaty alongside a strengthened Paris Agreement, according to Canadian climate campaigner Tzeporah Berman and Carbon Tracker Initiative founder Mark Campanale.

Alaska LNG Project Receives Regulator’s Green Light

New Colorado Law Requires GHG Polluters to Report their Emissions

Newfoundland Fossils Demand Big Federal Bailout While Drilling Program Faces Legal Challenge

Fossils in Newfoundland and Labrador are warning that the industry crash brought on by the coronavirus pandemic has thrown exploration commitments worth billions of dollars into limbo, raising questions about the province’s previous plan to double the size of its oil and gas sector by 2030.

23 States File Suit Against Trump’s Fuel Economy Rollback

Twenty-three states and the District of Columbia have made good on their long-standing threat to file a lawsuit against Donald Trump’s bid to weaken vehicle fuel economy standards enacted by President Barack Obama.

Courts Rule Against Fossils in California Climate Disclosure Case, Reject Montana Oil and Gas Leases Over Sage Grouse Protection

Five of the world’s most colossal fossils will have to face a pair of lawsuits from California cities and counties in state court, rather than trying for more favourable rulings from federal judges, after an appeals court ruled this week that the state level is the proper venue for the courts.

EV Uptake Continues as COVID-19 Thumps European Auto Industry

European electric vehicle registrations doubled in the first quarter of 2020, even as total car registrations fell more than 25%, prompting clean mobility advocates to urge more incentives while fossil car manufacturers plead for bailouts and clemency on climate action.

Landmark NY Pipeline Rejection a Turning Point for State Action

New York State’s recent rejection of a new gas pipeline to Long Island and New York City, based in part on its recent-enacted climate law, is emerging as a possible precedent for other jurisdictions across the U.S.. But legal counters are just as likely, particularly given the Trump administration’s predilection for challenging state authority when it comes to fossil fuel development.

Regulators Almost Always Side with Pipeliners, U.S. Legislators Discover

Bolsonaro’s Deregulation Sets Amazon Deforestation to Skyrocket

Alberta tar sands oil sands

Alberta Killing Fossil Jobs with Massive Regulatory Rollback, Notley Charges

The Jason Kenney government is under attack for killing fossil sector jobs in the midst of a brutal recession, after the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) suspended most environmental monitoring for the province’s oil and gas producers.

Michigan Dam Failures Highlight Risks in Aging Infrastructure, Toxic Sites

Safety officials warn that last week’s double dam failure and resulting, massive flood in Michigan foreshadows a frightening future for aging dams throughout the United States—structures that were never intended to withstand the torrential rains that are arriving with climate change.

Trump’s ‘Blitzkrieg Against the Environment’ Speeds Up as COVID Distracts, Election Nears

The COVID-19 pandemic has become the latest pretext for Donald Trump to shower his fossil industry benefactors with support, with the White House accelerating its rollback of environmental regulations, a key U.S. government agency foregoing royalties on oil and gas drilling on public lands, and fossil companies set to cash in from a coronavirus bond buyback program instituted by the Federal Reserve.

Week 21, May 25: Green Finance

The climate emergency poses four risks to the stability of Canada’s financial system: insurance losses due to climate-related disasters, climate liability stemming from successful lawsuits, stranded fossil assets, and GDP losses resulting in a climate-caused collapse of financial confidence.

Regulatory Credits Drive Tesla’s Profitability

Pandemic Delays Climate Plan Update as Ottawa Mulls Green Recovery Options

A recent wave of policy advocacy aimed at shaping the Canadian government’s green economic stimulus package is beginning to generate media coverage of its own, with the Globe and Mail reporting this week on the “frenzy” now under way “to determine just how—and how much—the federal government’s strategy for economic recovery from the COVID-19 shutdown will be shaped by its climate change agenda.”

Developer Redesigns Wind Project for North Dakota Regulators

Judges Reverse Ford Government Bid to Cancel Cornwall-Area Wind Farm

The 100-megawatt Nation Rise Wind Farm near Cornwall, Ontario is back on the boards, following a court decision that quashed the last-minute decision by Environment Minister Jeff Yurek to cancel the project in December.

1.5¢ Per Kilowatt-Hour: New Mexico Solar Project to Deliver Power at Record-Low Price

A state regulator has approved two new projects that will deliver electricity in southern New Mexico and west Texas at the record-low prices of just US1.5¢ per kilowatt-hour for solar and 2.1¢ for solar plus storage.

‘Landmark Decision’ Blocks Fracked Gas Pipeline in New York State

In what Politico is calling a “landmark decision” grounded in New York State’s “sweeping climate law”, Governor Andrew Cuomo’s administration has rejected a permit for the US$1-billion Williams Northeast Supply Enhancement pipeline to supply fracked natural gas to Long Island and New York City.

Week 20, May 18: Green Industry

In 2017 heavy industry produced 73 Mt of CO2e, accounting for 10% of Canada’s emissions, including non-fossil-fuel mining, smelting and refining, and the production and processing of industrial goods such as fertilizer, paper and cement.

‘Stealth Subsidies’ in Trade Policy Deliver $550 to $800 Billion Per Year to Fossil Companies

The “environmental bias” in tariffs and other trade barriers adds up to a US$550 to $800 billion annual “stealth subsidy” to fossil fuels, according to a study of 163 industries in 48 countries just released by a professor at the University of California, Berkeley.

More Than 70 Legislators Join Lawsuit Against Trump’s Clean Power Plan Rollback

B.C. Allows Forest Companies to Chop Whole Trees for Pellets if They’re ‘Inferior’

Wet’suwet’en Clans Endorse Governance Agreement with Canada, B.C.

Wet’suwet’en clans in British Columbia have ratified a memorandum of understanding that will see them take back management of their traditional territories, although one clan says the deal doesn’t go far enough in response to the controversial Coastal GasLink fracked gas pipeline now being built across their lands.

Kinder Morgan Loses Permits After Texas Construction Spill Fouls Drinking Water

UN Must Rethink Emission Controls for Aviation

Indigenous Group Warns of Possible Tailings Pond Leaks as Spring Floods Inundate Downtown Fort McMurray

With a 24-kilometre ice jam on the Athabasca River causing severe flooding in downtown Fort McMurray, Alberta, a local Indigenous advocacy group is raising flags about a lack of information on possible toxic releases from tar sands/oil sands tailings ponds and holding ponds located alongside the river.

U.S. Agency Looks to Deregulate Nuclear Waste Disposal

Texas Methane Emissions Hit All-Time High, Global Output Set to Rise as Pandemic Curtails Equipment Maintenance

Methane emissions from the massive Permian Basin shale fields in Texas and New Mexico are more than twice the U.S. government estimate, according to a paper published last week in the journal Science Advances, and experts say global emissions are on track to increase during the COVID-19 crisis as low oil prices push producers to save money on scheduled maintenance of pipelines and other infrastructure.

‘Radical Agenda’ in Memo to Ministers Shows Fossil Fuel Lobby Losing Touch

The epic news conference in mid-April where Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced C$2.4 billion in job creation funding for the country’s oil and gas workers, but not the $30-billion bailout the industry had demanded, was the second-worst moment in a very bad week for the fossil fuel lobby.

17 of 27 EU Countries Link Pandemic Recovery to European Green Deal

Nearly two-thirds of the countries in the European Union have signed on to an appeal to put the European Green Deal at the heart of the continent’s post-pandemic recovery, after Ireland, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Malta joined the crowd last week.

Keystone Court Ruling Delays Pipelines Across U.S.

Online Networks Light Up, Guterres Urges Green Recovery as Earth Day 50 Goes Virtual

The online universe lit up yesterday with an avalanche of webinars, news stories, email appeals, and at least one week-long global, virtual conference as millions of people around the world found ways to celebrate Earth Day 50 while sheltering at home.

California Utility Pitches Cleaner Battery Storage to Replace 40-Year-Old Power Plant

A California utility is planning to replace a 40-year-old, Oakland-area power plant running on jet fuel with two lithium-ion battery storage projects.

Tenth Anniversary of Deepwater Horizon Disaster Shows Few Lessons Learned

Ten years after BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, producing the largest oil spill in U.S. history and devastating avian and marine ecosystems as well as local economies, the Trump administration is reneging on safeguards put in place in the disaster’s wake, even as the odds of a worse catastrophe grow larger.

Two Recent Court Rulings Bring Wins for the Green Economy

Springtime in the U.S. courts brought two pieces of good news for the green economy. A district court in Washington, DC ordered the Trump administration to more closely analyze the impacts of the Dakota Access pipeline, while the Kansas Supreme Court rejected utility efforts to charge high rates to ratepayers with home solar equipment.

Groups Sue U.S. Over ‘Arbitrary’ Limit on Appliance Efficiency

690-MW Solar+Storage Project Faces Regulatory Roadblock in Nevada

Fossil Lobby Demands Massive Deregulation in ‘Crass Attempt to Exploit Global Pandemic’

The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) called on the federal government to suspend more than 30 environmental regulations, laws, and policies in response to the coronavirus pandemic, in a 13-page letter issued March 27 and released last week by Environmental Defence.

Ontario Asks Court to Dismiss Youth Climate Case [Petition]

The Ontario government is asking a judge to dismiss a Charter of Rights and Freedoms case filed last November by seven youth climate litigants, claiming the matter shouldn’t be decided in court.

Amazon workers protest Minnesota

Two Amazon Employees Fired After Advocating for Better Virus Protections

Two Amazon employees who risked their jobs by publicly criticizing the company’s climate credentials—and demanding better from their employer—have been fired in the wake of their equally public support for warehouse workers demanding stronger COVID-19 protections.

Squamish May Join Review of Woodfibre Work Camp

Kansas Court Delivers Unexpected Win for Rooftop Solar

Major U.S. Pipelines Run Through Local ‘News Deserts’

BREAKING: U.S. Judge Rejects Essential Construction Permit for Keystone XL Pipeline

Construction along hundreds of water crossings along Keystone XL pipeline route was thrown into doubt late yesterday, after Montana District Court judge Brian Morris threw out a key permit issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Without Net Zero Plans, Pandemic-Driven CO2 Decline a ‘Pit Stop’ to Climate Ruin

Forecasters are predicting that coronavirus disruptions will lead to the largest annual drop in carbon dioxide emissions ever recorded—but multiple data challenges make any such estimates extremely tentative, and without post-pandemic recovery efforts that prioritize and accelerate the zero-carbon shift, the plunge in emissions will prove nothing more than a brief pit stop on the road to climate ruin, analysts warn.

Major U.S. Transmission Projects Keep On Pushing to Bring Renewable Power to Market

After a tough decade of regulatory and public hurdles for new electricity transmission projects in the United States, Greentech Media is out with a profile of nine major lines that are at various stages of review and approval.

Oregon Campaigners Push Back on LNG Plant, Pipeline Approval

New Alberta Energy Regulator CEO Faced Scandal in Saskatchewan

Major New Transmission Line Nabs Missouri Supreme Court Approval

Banned CFCs Still in Use, Affecting Climate and Ozone Layer

Court Quashes Trump Attempt to Roll Back Obama-Era HFC Controls

With one dissenting vote by a Trump-appointed judge, a federal court in Washington, DC has shot down a bid by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to suspend an Obama-era regulation to control hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), one of the most dangerous greenhouse gases known to humanity.

Keep Local Markets Open, UK Food Security Expert Urges

With the COVID-19 pandemic manifesting as an economic nightmare as well as a health crisis, food security groups in the UK are urging policy-makers to make clear that local food markets must stay open so that vulnerable populations do not go hungry.

EU Circular Economy Law Promotes Repair, Reuse

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Alberta Demands Fossil Relief While Neglected Tech Firms Plan Their Exit

While Alberta blasts Ottawa for slow delivery of its fossil industry bailout package, the Jason Kenney government is hearing from high tech entrepreneurs who are preparing to leave the province over its steadfast refusal to build a more diversified economy.

Post-Pandemic Employment Will Hinge on Green Energy as Fossil Jobs Slide

With projected oilfield job losses of 30% by the end of 2020, the fossil sector is likely to remain highly embattled after the threat of COVID-19 has abated, with little ability to create new jobs. But the job-intensive green energy sector could be set to flourish, particularly if policy-makers include some variant of a Green New Deal in their plans for secondary stimulus packages, a new analysis shows.

California Looks to Double Green Energy Capacity, Cut Emissions by 2030

New solar and storage facilities—and no new gas plant approvals—are the cornerstones of California’s recently-released plan to drastically reduce emissions to just 46 megatonnes by 2030, and hit a 100% renewable energy target by 2045.

Four B.C. First Nations Seek Supreme Court Appeal on Trans Mountain

Four British Columbia First Nations are seeking permission for a Supreme Court appeal of a lower court’s unanimous decision supporting the federal government’s re-approval of the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion.

Hand Sanitizer Holds Out Weak Lifeline for Embattled U.S. Ethanol Industry

Ethanol producers struggling through the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic are welcoming new U.S. government rules that will permit them to provide alcohol for the manufacturing of hand sanitizer. But there is widespread doubt that hitching ethanol’s fortunes to the pandemic supply chain will prove much of a lifeline.

Bank of England Mulls Penalties for Polluting Assets

Washington State Extends ZEV Mandate to Medium-Duty Vehicles

Regulator in Iowa Agrees to Double Capacity of Dakota Access Pipeline

Honolulu Sues Fossils for Climate Costs

PG&E Accepts Involuntary Manslaughter Plea in 2018 Camp Fire

Trump Rolls Back Fuel Economy Standard Aimed at Cleansing the Air, Cutting Emissions

With his country in the grips of an out-of-control pandemic of respiratory disease, Donald Trump is pressing ahead with his long-standing plan to gut vehicle fuel efficiency standards designed to cleanse the air and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, in what InsideClimate News describes as the country’s “largest anti-climate rollback ever”.

Pembina Praises Ottawa for ‘Staying the Course’ on Carbon Price Increase

By sticking to its original plan to increase its floor price on carbon from C$20 to $30 per tonne April 1, in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government is sending a “positive signal to investors” and delivering the certainty needed to build a more resilient economy, the Pembina Institute said in a release yesterday.

Tesla Fudged Injury Reports, California Regulator Charges

Judge Rejects Trump Oil and Gas Leases Over Poor Public Consultation

Oregon Protesters Try Necessity Defence for First Time

Renewable Energy

Pandemic Response Should Mobilize Around Low-Carbon Solutions

With the coronavirus pandemic devastating the global economy and pushing world oil prices over a cliff, the federal government has two potential options in dealing with the oil and gas industry. It can give in to the predictable lobbying from fossil fuel interests, or it can use the virtual shutdown of the economy for industry mobilization. A post for Policy Options by Mitchell Beer

U.S. Judge Orders New Environmental Assessment for Dakota Access Pipeline

A U.S. federal judge has sent the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers back the drawing board in its review of the fiercely-contested Dakota Access pipeline, after agreeing with the Standing Rock Sioux of North and South Dakota that environmental assessments missed the full impact of the project.

Grassy Mountain Coal Mine

Proposed Alberta Coal Mine Expansion Evades Federal Review

Alberta’s proposed Vista thermal coal mine has tweaked its expansion plans to just below the dimensions that would trigger a federal review, opening Canada to charges of hypocrisy on the world stage.

Judge Bars Alton Gas Approval, Demands Consultation with Mi’kmaq

Major Southern U.S. Utility Impedes Public Input on Resource Planning

VW to Hire ‘Aggressive’ Climate Campaigner to Police Policies

Democrats’ Environmental Justice Bill Faces Uphill Fight in Congress

Analysis: Fossil Bailout Not the Prescription for Canada’s Fiscal Health

Shovels or ladders?

That is the stark choice facing Justin Trudeau and Parliament as they consider aiding western Canada’s giant tar sands/oil sands producers, which can now sell their oil for only about US$10 per barrel. One year ago, the sales price was US$55. By Paul McKay.

U.S. Poll Shows Bipartisan Support for Transit Funding, Fills Gap in Green New Deal

Americans of all political stripes are increasingly supportive of expanded public transit, and there is a growing conviction that there should be more restrictions on new road creation, according to a recent poll on behalf of Transportation for America (T4America). 

Unregulated Tar Sands/Oil Sands Emissions May Undercut Canada’s Methane Reductions

Although Canada can still meet its 2025 deadline to reduce methane releases from conventional oil and gas production by 40 to 45%, those gains could be wiped out by methane increases in tar sands/oil sands operations that aren’t subject to regulation, a new report concludes.

11th Democratic Primary Debate has Biden, Sanders Talking Climate Strategy

Former U.S. vice president Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders did something unusual when they met last Sunday evening for the eleventh televised debate of the Democratic Party’s presidential primary: they spent about 12 minutes talking about the climate crisis.

Florida to Require Sea Level Rise Studies for Coastal Construction

Florida may soon require sea level rise studies before approving publicly-funded construction projects in coastal areas, under legislation adopted unanimously last week by the state House of Representatives.

NYC Billy ‘Idle’ Campaign Dodges Root Causes of Air Pollution

New York City’s recent announcement of a US$1-million anti-idling campaign featuring British glam rocker Billy Idol may be witty, but what the community really needs is the political will to take more cars off city streets—an unlikely prospect, given Mayor Bill de Blasio’s penchant for governing “from a windshield perspective,” writes Grist.

Congo Human Rights Activist Faces Death Threats in Cobalt Child Labour Lawsuit

Why U.S. States Must Ban New Gas Hookups

Five U.S. States Block Cities’ Bids to Ban Natural Gas

Morneau Unveils Business Loans, Kenney Seeks ‘Unity’ as Coronavirus Crash Roils Alberta

Finance Minister Bill Morneau unveiled C$10 billion in new credit for businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, Premier Jason Kenney called for greater “unity” and less partisanship, and Alberta fossils announced deep cuts in their 2020 spending plans as Canada began grappling with the double-hit of a coronavirus-driven economic slowdown and crashing global oil prices.

Benefits of Telecommuting May Outlast Virus Outbreak

Work-from-home policies being implemented around the world in an urgent effort to contain the spread of COVID-19 could create a significant long-term boost to climate action plans, both by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and building future resilience.

Climate Crisis Response a ‘Cautionary Tale’ for Health Organizers

The fight for climate action offers a “cautionary tale” for policy-makers looking to accelerate their efforts to #FlattenTheCurve on COVID-19—as well as on how to best stimulate the global economy in the pandemic’s aftermath, reports the New York Times.

U.S. Federal Judge Gives Thumbs-Up to Quebec-California Cap-and-Trade

Israel Suspends New Oil Shale Permits

Prince George School Evacuated after Latest Canadian Train Derailment

In yet another Canadian freight train derailment, 27 cars left the tracks near Prince George, British Columbia last week, forcing the evacuation of a local elementary school and leaving a nearby creek contaminated with petroleum coke.

Baltimore Case against Big Oil to Proceed in State Court

Baltimore citizens seeking to hold Big Oil liable for the devastating consequences of its activities had cause to celebrate last week when an appeals court denied the industry’s bid to have the case moved to a more sympathetic federal court. The suit is one of several under way that target the “elaborate disinformation campaign” intended to suppress public knowledge about the climate-destroying impacts of fossil fuel burning. 

Prof Takes University of Regina to Court Over Disclosure of Fossil Research Funding

Pronghorn, Sage Grouse Won’t Survive Trump Plan for Wyoming Gas Wells

Australia Working Toward Net Zero Despite Federal Stonewalling

Continued attempts by Scott Morrison’s government to downplay the climate crisis and obstruct solutions in Australia are proving to be increasingly out of step with public opinion, as state and local governments—as well as business interests, environmentalists, and ordinary people—fight to decarbonize the country by 2050. 

Hope for Stability Fades as Guyana Becomes Nascent Petro-State

Hopes that Guyana’s nascent democracy and fragile economy might defy standard petro-state precedents and realize only benefits from the country’s sudden vault into the ranks of the oil-rich have grown dimmer in recent weeks, as the new wealth fuels pre-existing ethnic tensions.

2018 Pipeline Explosion Near Prince George Revealed “Shocking” Safety Breaches

The Lheidli T’enneh First Nation has responded to a Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) report on an October 2018 Enbridge pipeline explosion near the community’s borders, saying the report contains “shocking” confirmation of serious safety breaches.

10-Month Deadline Makes Netherlands a ‘Test Case’ for Rapid Decarbonization

The Netherlands has become a reluctant test case for how quickly a government can cut its carbon emissions when it’s required to, after the supreme court ruled late last year that the country must cut its greenhouse gas emissions 25% below 1990 levels by the end of 2020. 

Coastal Cities Must Fight or Flee as Global Waters Rise

With global sea levels expected to rise an average of one to four feet by 2100, cities like San Francisco, Manila, and Boston are set to become case studies in how urban planning decisions will create varying impacts across economic classes in an increasingly watery world.

Coastal GasLink Resumes Construction After Wet’suwet’en, Canada, B.C. Reach Draft Agreement

U.S. Youth Launch Appeal After Judge Blocks Climate Lawsuit

Globe Editorial Urges Ottawa Not to Let Ford Loosen Pollution Regs

Regulator Pushes Michigan Utility to Speed Up Efficiency, Renewables

Regulations Blamed as New England’s Biggest Coal Plant Set to Stay Open to 2024

Federal Regulator Undercuts New York’s Renewables, Storage Plans

Tamil Nadu, India Bans New Oil Production to Protect Farming

New U.S. Energy Legislation Backs Solar, Wind and Storage, Misses Out on Efficiency, Pushes Fracked Gas Exports

A massive, bipartisan energy bill could come up for a vote in the U.S. Senate as soon as this week, with billions of dollars directed to solar, wind, and storage, but no explicit climate targets, major gaps on energy efficiency, no tax credits for electric vehicles or renewables, and continuing support for fossil fuels.

California Judge Scorches PG&E’s Wildfire Plan

Poland ‘Thinking Big’ About Banning Coal Stoves and Burners

Calgary Pipeliner Left to Wait as U.S. Regulator Delays Decision on Oregon LNG Terminal

The Calgary-based pipeliner behind a proposed US$10-billion liquefied natural gas export terminal in Oregon is facing what the Financial Post calls a “surprise setback”, after the Trump-appointed Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) voted to delay its decision on the plan to send Canadian gas to Asian markets.

EU European Union

EU Considers Border Adjustment Charge to Penalize Carbon-Intensive Imports

The European Union is poised to fast-track some form of border adjustment to protect its domestic industries from international competitors in countries with less stringent carbon reduction policies.

Brazil Fires Top Climate Policy Staff, Calling Paris Commitment Into Further Doubt

The environment ministry in Brazil has fired the director and deputy director responsible for its climate change programs, at a moment when the international community is looking more closely at the climate impact of the country’s moves to clearcut the Amazon rainforest. 

Wisconsin Utility Plans 1 GW New Solar by 2023

A power utility in Wisconsin is planning to install a gigawatt of new solar capacity through 2023.

Week 9, March 2: Green Buildings

Buildings produce 12% of Canada’s GHGs. The challenge is two-fold: new builds, and retrofitting Canada’s 15 million homes and 480,000 industrial, commercial and institutional buildings.

Trump Fuel Efficiency Rollback Looks Like Dead End

U.S. Fossils Seek Protection from Local Climate Lawsuits

Arizona Moves to Prevent Municipal Bans on Gas Furnaces

‘Bell Tolls on Carbon Economy’ as UK Court Rules Third Heathrow Runway Illegal

United Kingdom climate campaigners are declaring a precedent-setting win after an appeal court ruled the proposed third runway at Heathrow Airport illegal, citing the national government’s failure to include the country’s climate commitments in the project planning process.

Coastal GasLink Agrees to Two-Day Construction ‘Pause’ as Wet’suwet’en-Crown Negotiations Begin

The company behind the contested Coastal GasLink pipeline through unceded Wet’suwet’en territory in northeastern British Columbia has agreed to pause construction for two days to “facilitate” preliminary negotiations between hereditary chiefs and the governments of Canada and B.C.

BP Quits Three Fossil Trade Groups, Remains Member of American Petroleum Institute

Colossal fossil BP is dropping its membership in three U.S. industry organizations, but continuing its association with the American Petroleum Institute, the ubiquitous national lobby group that has pushed for a wide-ranging rollback of climate and environmental regulations under Donald Trump.

Shift Fossil Subsidies Into Orphan Well Reclamation Jobs, Green MPs Urge Morneau

The federal Green Party caucus is calling on Finance Minister Bill Morneau to redirect fossil fuel subsidies to fund orphan well reclamation that would create jobs in the country’s fossil regions and ease the transition off oil and gas, iPolitics reports.

U.S. Solar Jobs Bounce Back Despite Trump Tariffs

Solar energy jobs in many parts of the United States have been bouncing back over the last year, with falling costs and a rush of new installations before federal tax credits expire offsetting the past impact of Donald Trump’s punishing tariffs on imported panels, according to new data from The Solar Foundation.

Democrats Propose Three-Year Ban on New U.S. Plastics Plants

Democrats in the House of Representatives are calling for a three-year moratorium on new plastics plants across the United States, while the National Academy of Sciences studies the health and climate impacts of a massive buildout in the country’s plastic manufacturing capacity.

Swiss Judge Convicts Climate Activist for Red Paint Protest

Latest Fossil Bankruptcy Puts NWT Oil Well Cleanup at Risk

Proponent of Pulling U.S. Out of Paris Deal Becomes EPA Chief of Staff

Alberta Appeal Court Rejects Federal Carbon Price

The Court of Appeal of Alberta has declared the federal government’s carbon pricing scheme unconstitutional, calling it a “constitutional Trojan horse” that intrudes on provincial jurisdiction.

U.S. Fossil Pulls the Plug on 124-Mile Constitution Gas Pipeline

Climate campaigners are chalking up another win in New York State this week, after Tulsa, Oklahoma-based fossil giant Williams Companies pulled the plug on its proposed 124-mile Constitution gas pipeline and wrote off the US$345 million it had already spent on the project.

Tyendinaga blockade

Blockades Continue, Businesses Seek Compensation as RCMP Continues Patrols on Wet’suwet’en Territory

With the RCMP closing its outpost but continuing its patrols on Wet’suwet’en territory, Tyendinaga Mohawks facing a deadline to end their rail blockade in Ontario, and businesses demanding compensation for lost freight access, the community members at the heart of the fight against the Coastal GasLink pipeline say they’re a long way from signalling an end to a growing country-wide protest.

Ottawa ‘Very Hopeful’ Blockades Will End as RCMP Promises to Leave Wet’suwet’en Territory

RCMP in British Columbia decided Thursday to abandon the presence in Wet’suwet’en territory that has sparked railway blockades, economic disruptions, and nearly 1,000 layoffs across the country, leaving Public Safety Minister Bill Blair “very hopeful” that negotiations with hereditary chiefs over the controversial Coastal GasLink pipeline can now proceed.

Wilkinson Links Teck Decision to Rising GHG Emissions from Alberta Oilpatch

Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson has put Alberta on notice that its rising greenhouse gas emissions will be a factor in the federal cabinet’s impending decision on the proposed Teck Frontier tar sands/oil sands mine.

Pembina: Emissions 70% Above Global Average Put Tar Sands/Oil Sands on ‘Collision Course’

Carbon emissions per barrel that are still 70% above the global average, and still on the rise, are putting Alberta tar sands/oil sands producers on a “collision course” with Canada’s climate targets and with changing expectations in global markets, the Pembina Institute reports in a study released Wednesday.

Stewart: Cabinet Decisions on Wet’suwet’en Blockades, Teck Will Show What Ottawa Stands For

With crucial decisions coming up or in progress on the Wet’suwet’en blockades and the proposed Teck Frontier tar sands/oil sands mine in Alberta, Canadians are about to find out what the second-term Trudeau government in Ottawa really stands for. 

And the answer to that question might turn on how the federal Liberals “decide to address a crucial imbalance in their political calculus,” writes Greenpeace Canada Senior Energy Strategist Keith Stewart, in an opinion piece this week for CBC News.

35 Vintage Photos Show Polluted LA of the 1940s

UK Considers Gas Heating Ban

Liberal MPs Declare a No-Win, Canadians Split as Pembina Scorches Teck Project Review

With a federal cabinet decision on Teck Resources’ controversial Frontier tar sands/oil sands mine looming by the end of the month, some of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s own caucus members are declaring the project a no-win proposition for the minority Liberal government, while polling shows Canadian voters split on the project.

New Trade Deal May Help U.S. Ship Coal to Asia Through Canadian, Mexican Ports

The Trump administration is looking for support from Canada and Mexico under the newly-signed U.S.-Canada-Mexico Agreement (USMCA) to help it circumvent state-level bans on coal shipments to Asia from western U.S. states.

Canada On Track to Hit Carbon Reduction Target for Grid Electricity

Be sure to sit down before you read this: Canada is in good shape to meet one of its national greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets, according to a report the federal government recently filed with the United Nations.

Delayed Coal Closures Harm Minority Communities’ Health, Indiana NAACP Warns

The state chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is urging Indiana legislators to defeat a bill that would harm the health of low-income and minority communities by the extending the operating life of nearby coal plants.

10 U.S. Refineries Exceeded EPA Limits for Carcinogenic Benzene in 2019

Washington State Low-Carbon Fuel Standard Nets Endorsement from Alaska Airlines

BREAKING: Cancelled Project Means the ‘End of New Coal’ in Europe

Lawyers at ClientEarth are heralding “the end for new coal” in Europe, after Polish utilities Enea and Energa announced last night that they would suspend work on the controversial new Ostrołęka C plant, citing economic concerns.

Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty Would Draw a Lesson from Cold War

A global fossil fuel non-proliferation treaty, analogous the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty adopted in 1967, is a necessary mechanism to get greenhouse gas emissions under control in time to hold average global warming below 1.5°C, according to a post last week for the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

Policy Analysts Urge All-Party Cooperation on Climate Accountability

Now is the time for all parties in the House of Commons to cooperate on accountability measures to prevent Canada from missing its latest set of carbon reduction targets, four of the country’s leading climate policy analysts argued earlier this month in an opinion piece for the Hill Times.

Norway May Redefine Northern ‘Ice Edge’ to Limit Oil and Gas Drilling

Norway is working on a creative way to limit oil and gas drilling in the offshore areas under its control: it’s considering redefining the “ice edge” that determines how far north fossils can go to pursue exploration activities.

Europe’s ‘Positive Energy Districts’ Deliver Community Power to the Grid

Europe is planning to set up 100 or more “positive energy districts” by 2025, enabling whole neighbourhoods to become net electricity exporters to the grid. But the success of the effort could hinge on several factors, including an aggressive energy retrofit program to reduce local energy demand.

Latest Saskatchewan Oil Train Derailment Spilled 1.2 Million Litres

Democrats Ask Banks to Bar Arctic Drilling

http://www.greenpeace.org/canada/en/campaigns/Energy/tarsands/

Ottawa Mulls Alberta ‘Aid Package’ as Province Angles for Teck Mine Approval

With an end-of-month deadline looming for a cabinet decision on Teck Resources’ proposed Frontier tar sands/oil sands mine, Ottawa was preparing an “aid package” to cushion the blow for Alberta if it rejects the company’s plan, Alberta said it wasn’t interested in a federal “handout”, and Teck itself was facing stiff financial headwinds that were entirely unrelated to the C$20.6-billion megaproject.

Trump’s ‘Clarified’ Policy Ends Penalties for Bird Deaths

RCMP Arrest Six in Pre-Dawn Raid on Wet’suwet’en Support Camp

More than a dozen heavily-armed RCMP arrested six people Thursday morning in a pre-dawn raid at a camp on traditional Wet’suwet’en territory, as the force began acting on a court injunction against protesters blocking construction of the controversial Coastal GasLink pipeline.

India Threatens to Shut 15 GW of Coal Capacity Due to Air Quality Concern

India’s Central Pollution Control Board is threatening to shutter 14 coal plants representing about 15 gigawatts of generating capacity and assess penalties against their operators, after they missed two deadlines to reduce particulate and sulphur dioxide emissions.

Parliamentary Budget Officer Sees Most Households Coming Out Ahead from Federal Carbon Price

Most households in provinces subject to the federal government’s backstop price on carbon will get more money back in rebates than they pay out in taxes, though less than Ottawa projected last year, the non-partisan Parliamentary Budget Officer concluded in a new analysis released this week.

Italian Fossil Fined $5.6M for False Advertising on Climate Action

Climate Campaigners Sue Trump Over Aviation Emissions

Appeal Court Rejects First Nations’ Trans Mountain Challenge

The Tsleil-Waututh, Squamish, and Coldwater First Nations vowed yesterday to continue their fight after the Federal Court of Appeal unanimously rejected their challenge to the federal cabinet’s re-approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

Wilkinson Wants More Detail After Teck Promises Net-Zero by 2050

Environment and Climate Minister Jonathan Wilkinson says he’s waiting for more detail before deciding whether Teck Resources’ promise to make its operations net-zero for emissions by 2050 will influence cabinet’s decision on the company’s C$20.6-billion Frontier tar sands/oil sands mine proposal.

State and Local Progress Can’t Outweigh White House Hostility to Climate Action

While climate action by U.S. states and cities is paying off, with participating jurisdictions now representing nearly 70% of U.S. GDP and population and accounting for more than 50% of national emissions, even the biggest wins can’t make up for the lack of federal support under Donald Trump. 

But with a U-turn in national policy after next January’s presidential inauguration, there’s still a prospect that the United States could nearly halve its emissions by 2030, InsideClimate News reports.

Lawyer Under House Arrest Beat Chevron in Court, but ‘Lost Everything’

Canada to Enact Single-Use Plastics Ban in 2021

The Trudeau government will move ahead with a ban on single-use plastics next year, after a federal science report found more than enough evidence that plastics pollution causes harm, with 29,000 tonnes of plastic garbage ending up as litter in 2016.

France, UK See New Lawsuits Against Fossil Fuel Development

New lawsuits against fossil fuel development were introduced in two major European countries last week, with five campaign organizations and 14 local governments filing suit against colossal fossil Total SA and ClientEarth taking action against the UK’s approval of the continent’s biggest gas-fired power plant.

China’s Aviation Emissions Set to Quadruple by 2050

Despite the spread of the “flight shame” phenomenon and industry pledges to address the carbon footprint of aviation, greenhouse gas emissions from commercial flights are expected to increase 300% by 2050, with emissions from China’s aviation sector projected to nearly quadruple.

UK’s Net Zero Pledge Undermined by Poor Communication

More than 80% of U.K. citizens support their government’s “net zero by 2050” pledge, but fewer than half really understand what that push will entail or even why it’s necessary—a failure of communication that could torpedo the country’s efforts to decarbonize.

Jonathan WIlkinson

Cabinet Could Delay Teck Decision, as Company Says Mega-Mine May Never Be Built

Maneuvering around Teck Resources’ controversial Frontier tar sands/oil sands proposal is heating up, with Environment and Climate Minister Jonathan Wilkinson saying Cabinet review of the project may be delayed, while Teck CEO Don Lindsay says it’s “anyone’s guess” whether his company will build the C$20.6-billion project if it’s approved.

Radioactive Fossil Wastewater Still Flows, 40 Years After Damning Insider Report

Nearly 40 years after the American Petroleum Institute (API) warned industry officials that oil and gas wastewater is “significantly” radioactive, regulation remains non-existent, callously leaving largely unaware industry workers and the broader public exposed to life-threatening toxins.

Simplified Application Process Sends Solar Uptake through the Roof

A few simple changes in the local application process led to a 3,000% increase in the issuance of solar panel permits in the Chicago suburb of Schaumburg. The municipality made the changes with guidance from SolSmart, a solar power recognition program funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.

https://pixabay.com/en/plastic-bottles-fishing-net-netting-388679/

Fracking Industry Driving Massive Boom in Plastic Production

Ignoring a shocking carbon footprint, a broken global recycling system, and ever-growing public outcry, the fossil and petrochemical industries are banking big on plastics, pouring billions into new production facilities as a hedge against the coming crash of the internal combustion engine.

EU Automakers Ask Governments for Mandatory Charging Infrastructure Targets

Emails Show Trump Appointees Using Wildfire Data to Justify Increased Logging

Obedient to Donald Trump’s inclination to prioritize industry over the public interest, political appointees in the U.S. Department of the Interior manipulated wildfire emissions data into a narrative that presented more logging—rather than climate action—as the best way to prevent future fires.

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Climate Campaigners Raise Flags Over Press Freedom Award for Chevron Lawyer

Anti-fossil campaigners are crying foul after the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press (RCFP) chose to honour Chevron lead attorney Ted Boutrous for his work to protect First Amendment freedoms.

Reject Teck Wilkinson petition

41,500 Petition Signatures Urge Wilkinson, Federal Cabinet to Reject Teck Frontier Mine

Climate campaigners delivered a petition with 41,500 signatures to Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson’s North Vancouver constituency office Friday, demanding the federal Cabinet reject Teck Resources’ proposed C$20.6-billion Frontier tar sands/oil sands megaproject in Alberta.

Fracking Tied to Two Central Alberta Earthquakes in 12 Months

Two earthquakes in central Alberta in 2018 and 2019 were caused by nearby shale oil fracturing operations, a research team from the province’s geological society and energy regulator has concluded.

low-flow showerhead

Decades-Old Environmental Action Handbook Pivots to ‘Permanent System Change’

Three decades after 50 Simple Things You Can Do to Save the Planet first took America by storm, its bestselling author is still pushing simple steps to help people reduce their environmental footprint. But he’s also urging his readers to go after the legislative, institutional, and structural changes that will be needed to enforce better climate and environmental performance.

Trump Took Hacksaw to Environmental Protection Act After BP Told Him To

multi-storey Volkswagen parking lot

Record $196.5M Fine in Dieselgate Scandal Points to ‘New Era of Environmental Protection’

A record-setting C$196.5-million fine levied against Volkswagen after it pleaded guilty to dozens of charges in the epic Dieselgate scandal, heralds a “new era of environmental protection,” according to judge who heard the case.

Ex-Alberta Liberal Leader Declares Tax Revolt Over Deadbeat Fossils’ $173M Debt to Rural Municipalities

A former opposition politician in Alberta is calling for a tax revolt after Premier Jason Kenney sided with deadbeat fossils against the rural municipalities they’re depriving of C$173 million in local tax revenue.

Trump Policies Hand Poor, Non-White Areas the ‘Brunt’ of Climate Impacts

Critics are warning that the Trump administration’s proposed changes to the environmental review process for pipeline and highway megaprojects will hit poor and minority Americans hardest.

‘Words Make Worlds’: Holthaus Issues Call to Imagine, Create a Radically Positive Future

As the climate crisis deepens, we must be “radically imaginative,” telling ourselves and each other stories of fiercely visionary, loving, and productive collective actions that will help end the climate emergency, veteran meteorologist and climate hawk Eric Holthaus writes in The Correspondent.

Countries Can’t Turn Back Climate Refugees Whose Lives Are at Risk, UN Committee Rules

Countries can no longer send climate refugees back to nations of origin where the climate crisis might threaten their lives, according to a ruling by the United Nations Human Rights Committee earlier this month—even though the Kiribati resident who filed the original case lost his bid for relocation in New Zealand.

Harvard Students Protest After Exxon’s Law Firm Tries to Recruit Them

An elite U.S. corporate law firm flopped badly in its recent bid to recruit Harvard law students, when nearly a third of the invitees delivered a sharp rebuke for the firm’s ongoing role in defending colossal fossil ExxonMobil, making it clear they saw no kind of professional future with an organization that traffics in fossils.

FERC Oversteps Authority on Local Power Generation

U.S. Judges Toss Landmark Youth Climate Case, Send Plaintiffs Back to the Ballot Box

After a five-year push just to secure a trial date, the landmark Juliana v. United States youth climate justice case is hanging by a thread, after two out of three judges who heard the case before the federal Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit concluded that it didn’t belong in court.

Scientists Declare 2010s the Hottest Decade, 2019 the Second-Warmest Year on Record

NASA and the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have declared the 2010s the hottest 10 years on record, with 2019 the second-warmest ever, findings confirmed by climate-related devastation around the globe.

credit suisse Federer protest

Swiss Judge Acquits Credit Suisse Protesters for ‘Necessary, Proportional’ Response to Climate Crisis

A judge in Lausanne, Switzerland has acquitted a group of youth protesters on trespassing charges and waived fines of CHf 21,600 (US$22,200) per person, ruling their actions were “necessary and proportional” to the “imminent danger” of climate change.

Trusted Household Brands Help YouTube Videos ‘Turn Climate Denial Into Cash’

YouTube is broadcasting climate denial and misinformation to many millions, and some of the world’s biggest brands are unknowingly underwriting that activity, warns a new study conducted by Avaaz.

Construction on Cross-Border Segment of Keystone XL to Begin in April

Construction on the 1.9-kilometre segment of the contested Keystone XL pipeline that crosses the Canada-U.S. border is set to begin in April, according to a filing last week with the U.S. District Court in Montana.

Fossils Acknowledge Climate Litigation Hitting Their Bottom Line

Alaska pipeline winter

Supreme Court Rejects B.C.’s Challenge to Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion

The Supreme Court of Canada has unanimously rejected British Columbia’s challenge to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, concluding that the province’s bid to regulate the flow of heavy oil through its territory would defeat the federal government’s constitutional authority to approve and regulate interprovincial pipelines.

Emails Show Trump Justice Department Teaming Up with Fossils in Climate Liability Lawsuit

Donald Trump’s Department of Justice coordinated efforts with fossil companies trying to fight off a climate liability lawsuit from the cities of Oakland and San Francisco in early 2018, with one DOJ lawyer talking about working with industry lawyers as a “team”, according to 178 pages of emails obtained by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and shared with InsideClimate News.

Appeals Court Deals Further Setback to Atlantic Coast Pipeline

Pickering nuclear

False Alarm Draws Attention to Delayed Pickering Nuclear Shutdown, Triggers Surging Demand for Emergency Iodide Pills

Millions of people across Ontario woke up in a panic early Sunday morning, after an emergency alert falsely announced an incident at the Pickering nuclear station east of Toronto.

Democrats Plan ‘Sweeping Legislation’ to Hit Net-Zero Emissions by 2050

Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives are developing what The Hill calls “sweeping climate legislation” to bring the country to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, while Utility Dive points to renewable energy advocates charting the “most effective” path to hit that target.

UK Recalls Publication Branding XR an ‘Extreme Ideology’

The former head of the United Kingdom’s Prevent anti-radicalization team is taking police to task for listing Extinction Rebellion as an extreme ideology in a publication designed to help stop terrorist violence.

EPA Ignores Health Benefits of Coal Rule It’s Working to Undercut

Stop Indigenous Evictions at Coastal GasLink Site, B.C. Human Rights Commissioner Urges

Canada must stop the eviction of Wet’suwet’en and Secwepemc protesters blockading the Coastal GasLink pipeline in northern British Columbia, guarantee that no force will be used against them, and prohibit the use of lethal weapons on the site, B.C. Human Rights Commissioner Kasari Govender said Friday.

New Trump Regulation Would Take Climate Out of the Discussion on New Infrastructure Projects

The Trump administration is planning revisions to the U.S. National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) to remove the requirement for federal agencies to take the climate crisis into account in their assessments of new pipelines, highways, and other infrastructure projects.

Minnesota Republicans Back Clean Energy Transition Bill

Amazon Staff Face ‘Formal Corrective Action’ for Challenging Company’s Climate Performance

While pledging aggressive action to reduce a carbon footprint that approaches that of Denmark, Amazon is policing climate activists on its payroll, recently threatening to dismiss several employees who’ve publicly called on the sprawling tech giant to do more, including severing its ties with Big Oil.

Minnesota Court Forces New Wisconsin Gas Plant to Probe Climate Impacts

Nevada Governor Signs Executive Order to Cut Emissions, Speed Up Advanced Energy

Yurek Cancels Eastern Ontario Wind Farm Despite Looming Fears for Electricity Supply

The Doug Ford government’s abrupt cancellation of an eastern Ontario wind power development is running headlong into concerns about the reliability of the province’s electricity supply over the next two to four years.

‘Groundbreaking’ Supreme Court Ruling Mandates Fast Carbon Cut in The Netherlands

Dutch campaigners are declaring an “immense victory for climate justice” after a strongly-worded supreme court judgement December 20 upheld governments’ human rights duty to protect citizens from climate change and ordered The Netherlands to cut greenhouse gas emissions 25% below 1990 levels by the end of this year.

Austria to Set 2040 Carbon Neutral Target as Greens Join Coalition Government

Austria is poised to become a European “forerunner” in climate protection and set a 2040 carbon-neutral target after the centre-right People’s Party (Oe Vp) and the Greens announced a coalition government last Thursday.

Wet’suwet’en Evict Pipeline Contractors, Expect RCMP Push After Judge Extends Injunction Against Blockade

Wet’suwet’en land defenders issued an eviction notice to a Coastal GasLink pipeline work site near Houston, British Columbia but were expecting a stepped-up RCMP presence in their territory, after a provincial supreme court judge extended an existing interim injunction against their blockade of the controversial, C$6.6-billion project.

http://www.greenpeace.org/canada/en/campaigns/Energy/tarsands/

Wilkinson Weighs Teck Tar Sands/Oil Sands Megaproject Against Net-Zero Carbon Pledge

Environment and Climate Minister Jonathan Wilkinson says he’s grappling with how Teck Resources’ C$20.6-billion tar sands/oil sands mining megaproject fits in with Canada’s climate commitments, with a decision on the controversial project expected in the first three months of the year.

Europe Threatens Border Adjustment Tariff for Climate Laggards Like U.S.

In what Politico interprets as a lesson learned from Donald Trump’s trade wars, the European Union is threatening a carbon tariff on countries like the United States that refuse to step up and commit to getting their greenhouse gas emissions under control.

Alberta Faces Skepticism for War Room Announcement, Trashes Its Own Claim that Carbon Tax Hurts GDP

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is having a rough week, with two veteran journalists questioning the potential impact of his much-anticipated fossil war room and his own government’s court documents undercutting his claim that the previous NDP government’s carbon levy harmed the province’s economy.

Greta Thunberg

Thunberg, 15 Other Youth Call Out Canadian, Norwegian Fossils for Violating Children’s Rights

With #FridaysForFuture founder Greta Thunberg and 15 other youth campaigners in Madrid calling out Canada and Norway for violating children’s rights and urging them to wind down their oil and gas production, Norway’s top fossil lobbyist is openly fretting about the “intense” nature of the debate around his industry’s climate impact.

New UK Government Faces Steep Climb on Net-Zero Target, Power Supply Post-Brexit

Implementing the United Kingdom’s net-zero by 2050 target, eliminating planning bottlenecks for offshore wind, and keeping post-Brexit power connections with Europe smooth, especially for Ireland, are three challenges facing Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Greentech Media reports, in a follow-up on the election last week that brought Johnson a majority government.

http://www.greenpeace.org/canada/en/campaigns/Energy/tarsands/

Decision on Teck Frontier Mega-Mine Will Test Canada’s Climate Action Commitment

The massive Teck Frontier tar sands/oil sands mine in Alberta is emerging as an early test of the re-elected Trudeau government’s climate commitment, with a cabinet decision due in February and campaigners gearing up to oppose a megaproject that would run through 2067 and increase Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions by six million tonnes per year.

Alberta Launches ‘Hopeful, Uplifting’ War Room After Kenney’s Ottawa Visit Fizzles

The Alberta government has officially launched its C$30-million “war room” to counter what it claims is misinformation about the province’s fossil industry.

Minority Communities Face Greatest Risk as Atlantic Coast Pipeline Pushes Into Rural America

Promising jobs and property tax revenue, owners of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline are pushing ahead against grassroots resistance and expert testimony, both maintaining that such gains are outweighed by the potential for great harm to be borne mostly by rural, African-American, and Indigenous communities, as well as delicate ecosystems.

Long History of Waste, Shrinkage Due to Climate Change Put Majestic Colorado River At Risk

One hundred years after politicians ignored warnings that even the majestic Colorado River could not sustain all the demands on its water from seven different states, policy-makers are still ignoring the science—a path that is particularly unwise in a climate emergency, Grist reports.

Three States Join Lawsuit Against Line 5 Pipeline

Minnesota Regulator Sees Little Impact on Lake Superior from Line 3

Jonathan Wilkinson COP 25 climate Canada

Canada Pledges Net Zero by 2050 as Major Emitters Dig In to Block COP 25 Progress

Canada earned praise for promising to legislate a 2050 deadline for net-zero carbon emissions, but big emitters like Australia, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, India, and China were called out for blocking progress, as COP 25 moved into a crucial round of high-level negotiations this week in Madrid.

VW

Enviros Call for Billions in Fines After VW Canada Pleads Guilty to Dieselgate Charges

Volkswagen is pleading guilty, and two environmental groups are calling for billions of dollars in penalties, after the federal government capped a four-year investigation of the 2015 Dieselgate scandal by laying 60 charges against the company under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA).

New York State Loses Anti-Fraud Case Against ExxonMobil

New York State Attorney General Letitia James has failed in an attempt to prove that colossal fossil ExxonMobil defrauded its investors out of up to US$1.6 billion by hiding the true costs it would face from climate change regulation.

Wildfire

PG&E, Wildfire Victims Reach $13.5-Billion Settlement

Bankrupt utility giant Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) has reached a tentative US$13.5-billion settlement with the victims of devastating wildfires that killed dozens and destroyed tens of thousands of homes across its Northern California service area.

Shipping Moves Closer to Mandatory Carbon Reduction R&D

Denmark to Cut Emissions 70% by 2030 While New Zealand Adopts Climate Policy Lens

Two of the world’s wealthier countries have committed to a more ambitious response to the climate crisis, with Denmark adopting a 2030 deadline for a 70% emissions reduction and New Zealand declaring it will filter all major government decisions through a “climate lens”—although observers aren’t unanimously excited about New Zealand’s plan.

BP ‘Greenwashing’ Campaign Draws Legal Challenge

New Coal Plant Construction Puts Indonesia at Odds with 1.5°C Carbon Target

Even as its neighbours join the rest of the world in turning increasingly away from coal, Indonesia is charging full steam ahead with new coal plant construction, putting any hope of aligning with a 1.5°C average global warming target under the 2015 Paris Agreement in serious jeopardy along the way.

Bristol Becomes First UK City to Ban Diesel Cars from City Core

http://www.greenpeace.org/canada/en/campaigns/Energy/tarsands/

BREAKING: Moody’s Downgrades Alberta’s Credit While Federal Regulator Predicts Continuing Over-Dependence on Oil

One of the world’s leading credit assessment agencies has downgraded its rating for Alberta, citing the province’s over-dependence on fossil fuels, lack of pipeline access, carbon intensity, and vulnerability to climate disasters.

60% of Toxic Superfund Sites in U.S. Are Vulnerable to Climate Impacts

With 60% of America’s toxic Superfund sites at risk from climate impacts like storm surge and flooding, wildfires and rising seas, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) must urgently incorporate climate change into its risk assessments and response protocols, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) states in a report release last month.

U.S. Utility Suspends Gas Moratorium in New York State

Massachusetts Town’s Gas Heating Ban Could Spur Change Across Region

New EU Pollution Controls Undercut Investments in Coal Refurbishments

Trump Administration Eases Regs on Utility Coal Ash Disposal

Ecofiscal Commission Urges $210/Tonne Carbon Tax as Canada Falls Behind on 2030 Target

Canada will need to quadruple its carbon tax to C$210 per tonne by 2030, enough to raise gasoline prices by about 40¢ per litre, if the government relies solely on pricing to hit its 2030 emissions reduction target, Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission concludes in its final report issued this week.

Alaska National Wildlife Refuge

Trump Administration Plans Massive Expansion for Alaska Oil Drilling

Continuing its assault on Obama-era environmental protections in the Arctic, the Trump administration released a draft proposal earlier this month to open as much as 81% of Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve—critical habitat for endangered caribou, grizzlies, wolves, and migratory birds—to exploratory drilling for oil.

Federally-Owned Trans Mountain Takes Criticism for Surveillance on Indigenous Opponents

In a move that legal experts are condemning as a disquieting disregard for the democratic rights of assembly and free expression, federally-owned Trans Mountain Corporation has been conducting surveillance on its opponents, trolling their social media posts, and exchanging intelligence with the RCMP.

Doug Ford Ontario government

Seven Youth Sue Ford Government for ‘Tearing Up Ontario’s Climate Laws’

Seven Ontario youth are suing the Doug Ford government for “tearing up the province’s climate laws and violating their Charter rights to life, liberty, and security of the person,” Ecojustice announced yesterday.

EU European Union

EU to Declare Climate Emergency Ahead of UN Climate Conference Next Week

European Union legislators are on track to declare a climate emergency ahead of the annual United Nations climate conference opening next week in Madrid, while stressing that the symbolic statement must be backed up by action.

California Sets Moratorium on Fracking Technique, Demands Scientific Evidence for New Permits

California will make new oil and gas fracking permits subject to scientific review, slap a moratorium on a production technique responsible for a recent major spill, and set new public safety rules for siting oil and gas wells under new regulations announced last week by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Sumatra elephant

Fires Driven by Drought, Forest Clearing Ravage Sumatran Elephant and Tiger Habitat

Fires across Indonesia this summer and fall, driven by a wet season cut short by drought, drained peatlands turned to tinder, and farmers conducting slash-and-burn forest clearing, have ravaged habitat for critically endangered Sumatran elephants and tigers.

New York City Launches Appeal in Climate Suit Against Colossal Fossils

Ecojustice Challenges ‘Partisan Political Purposes’ Behind Alberta’s Foreign Funding Inquiry

Environmental law charity Ecojustice has filed a legal challenge against the Kenney government’s C$2.5-million commission on supposed “foreign-funded radicals” opposing the Alberta fossil industry, asserting the probe was set up for “partisan political purposes” and has been tainted by bias in its operations.

Parliament Buildings Ottawa, Canada

Ottawa Offers Flexibility on Fossil Regulation as New Cabinet Gets to Work

Alberta’s energy minister declared herself “very encouraged” by her first meeting with her federal counterpart, Ottawa’s Western liaison opened the door to watering down federal environmental protection regulations, and Quebec environmentalists second-guessed the decision not to appoint one of their own as environment minister as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s newly-appointed cabinet got down to work last week.

Pete Buttigieg

Spat Over Buttigieg Campaign Advisor Spotlights Splits in Climate Action Community

Concern about the fossil fuel connections of a climate advisor to South Bend, IN Mayor Pete Buttigieg in his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination is pointing toward a public spat within the U.S. climate and energy community.

Keystone Spill Affected 10 Times More Land Than Regulator First Reported

The 1.4 million litres of tar sands/oil sands bitumen that spilled from the Keystone pipeline late last month affected 10 times more land than North Dakota state regulators initially reported, state environmental scientist Bill Seuss said Monday.

Cars for sale

California to Stop Buying from Automakers that Back Trump’s Fuel Economy Rollback

California has declared it will stop doing business with automakers that support Donald Trump’s bid to roll back the state’s long-established right to set its own, tougher fuel economy standards.

Trump Organization to Pay $290,000 for Failed Attack on Scottish Wind Farm

Four years after his effort to block an offshore wind farm project near one of his 16 golf courses was unanimously rebuked by the UK Supreme Court, Donald Trump has been ordered to pay Scotland US$290,000 to cover its legal expenses.

New Map Shows 19 Years of Saskatchewan Oil and Gas Spills

B.C. Energy Efficiency Regs Quietly Do Their Job

California, 22 Other States Launch Latest Suit Against Trump Fuel Economy Rollback

Nearly two dozen U.S. states are taking Donald Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to the U.S. Court of Appeals to defend California’s long-standing right to set its own, tougher standards for vehicle fuel efficiency.

Charity Slams ‘Undemocratic, Unfounded’ Foreign-Funded Radicals Panel

Jason Kenney’s United Conservative Party government is taking fire from one of the province’s most established philanthropic institutions, with the Edmonton-based Muttart Foundation declaring that Alberta’s inquiry into supposed foreign funding of anti-fossil advocacy is polarizing, undemocratic, and unfounded.

Canadian Fossils Log 11,452 Federal Lobbying Contacts in Eight Years

An astronomical 11,452 lobbying contacts from 46 fossil companies between 2011 and 2018—an average of more than six per regular work day over an eight-year span—amounted to “strategic, organized, and sustained lobbying” that helped to explain “the past and continuing close coupling of federal policy to the needs of the fossil fuel industry,” according to an analysis released earlier this month by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA).

Absence of Other Choices Drives Indigenous Role in Oil and Gas

The potent power of oil and gas is dividing Indigenous communities in western Canada, with one side championing the industry as the only available path away from poverty, while the other condemns it as a neocolonialist destroyer of Indigenous values and the global climate.